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SLE209 - Science and Society


2020 unit information

Important Update:

Classes and seminars in Trimester 2/Semester 2, 2020 will be online. Physical distancing for coronavirus (COVID-19) will affect delivery of other learning experiences in this unit. Please check your unit sites for announcements and updates one week prior to the start of your trimester or semester.

Last updated: 2 June 2020

Enrolment modes:Trimester 2: Cloud (online)
Credit point(s):1
EFTSL value:0.125
Unit Chair:Trimester 2: Adam Cardilini

Must have passed 4 credit points in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment, or the Faculty of Arts and Education.



Incompatible with:


Typical study commitment:

Students will on average spend 150 hours over the teaching period undertaking the teaching, learning and assessment activities for this unit.

Scheduled learning activities - cloud:

Cloud (online): 1 x 1 hour scheduled online seminar per fortnight, or 1 x 1 hour campus seminar per fortnight.


Students often see science as a set of facts and not as a process for making sense of the natural and physical world. Today’s science is built on ways of thinking that were developed centuries ago. The purpose of this unit is for students to develop knowledge of the history and philosophy of science and the relationship between science and the society. Students will review controversies in science, examine science as a human endeavour, explore different values and attitudes to science and explain how science influences our world. Learning assessment activities in this unit will allow students to recognise the evolution of science and its role in the advancement of our society. Students will research, collect and analyse information around how people enact science from discovery through to practice, through to application, through to understanding.  They will learn the importance of the scientific process, and methods in the development ideas and theories.


These are the Learning Outcomes (ULO) for this Unit

At the completion of this Unit
successful students can:

Deakin Graduate
Learning Outcomes


Explain the nature and processes of scientific knowledge construction using historical and contemporary theories

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities


Articulate ways in which science has impacted on society at different times in history.

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities
GLO2: Communication
GLO4: Critical thinking


Express a considered view about how society values scientific and non-scientific knowledge including developing and demonstrating understandings of the way that scientific knowledge relates to other forms of knowledge.

GLO2: Communication


Construct explanations, form opinions and use judgments based on evidence to develop critical arguments on issues in science and society.

GLO2: Communication
GLO6: Self-management

These Unit Learning Outcomes are applicable for all teaching periods throughout the year


Assessment Description Student output Weighting (% total mark for unit) Indicative due week
Weekly quizzes Weekly online quizzes 20% Weeks 2-8
Individual report to a media group Written report approximately 600-words, or 3-5 minute presentation 30% Week 8
Learning portfolio Portfolio 50% Week 6 and 12

The assessment due weeks provided may change. The Unit Chair will clarify the exact assessment requirements, including the due date, at the start of the teaching period.

Learning Resource

The texts and reading list for the unit can be found on the University Library via the link below: SLE209 Note: Select the relevant trimester reading list. Please note that a future teaching period's reading list may not be available until a month prior to the start of that teaching period so you may wish to use the relevant trimester's prior year reading list as a guide only.

Unit Fee Information

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